Betts' two homers power Sox past A'sBy MIKE SHALIN
The Sports Xchange
September 13. 2017 12:14AM
BOSTON — Mookie Betts hit two home runs and drove in six runs and Eduardo Rodriguez won for the first time since May 26 to power the Boston Red Sox to an 11-1 blowout of the Oakland A’s Tuesday night.
Betts tripled home two runs in a five-run second and then hit a two-run homer in the fourth and another in the sixth as the first-place Red Sox piled up 16 hits in their fifth win in their last six games.
The win moved the Red Sox four games ahead of the losing New York Yankees atop the American League East. It also clinches Boston’s first back-to-back winning season since 2012-11.
It was the 10th multi-homer game for Betts, his third this season. Jim Rice has the most multi-homer games by a Boston player before turning 25, with 12.
Rodriguez, making his 12th start since his last victory, suffering just four losses over that span, allowed one hit over six innings. He struck out nine, tying his season high, to even his season record at 5-5 and his career mark at 18-18. Three relievers finished off a three-hitter.
Christian Vazquez, who came in with highest home batting average in the American League at .373, had two RBI hits in the onslaught.
The loss ended a five-game winning streak for the last-place A’s, who were coming off a four-game sweep of the Houston Astros — by a combined 41-15 count.
The Red Sox knocked out starter Sean Manaea (10-10) in 3 2/3 innings.
In two career starts at Fenway Park, Manaea, who defeated the Red Sox in Oakland in May, has worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing 21 hits and 15 runs (21.32 ERA).
Betts became the first player in Red Sox history with back-to-back 20/20 seasons.
After wasting a scoring chance in the first, the Red Sox used four straight singles for two runs, one driven in by Vazquez, before Pedroia singled home a run and Betts tripled home a pair.
With two out in the fourth, Betts connected to make it 7-1 and chase Manaea. Vazquez then doubled home a run and then scored on Jackie Bradley Jr.’s double.
Jed Lowrie’s RBI double gave the A’s a 1-0 lead in the first.
NOTES: Red Sox INF Eduardo Nunez, who left Saturday’s game with what was then called a bruised right knee, has a sprain and will miss at least another week. … The Rays say they expect to be able to host the Red Sox in St. Petersburg this weekend. … With 2018 schedules released Tuesday, the A’s open their 50th season with a series at home against the Los Angeles Angels, while their April 17 game will be free to fans. The Red Sox open with five games in Florida, three at Tampa Bay and two at Miami — and play six of their first eight games against the Rays. … It was 38 years ago Tuesday that Carl Yastrzemski collected his 3,000th hit, making him the first player with 3,000 hits and 400 homers. … Jharel Cotton pitches for the A’s tonight against Doug Fister, 5-2 with a 2.79 since replacing the injured David Price in the rotation. … Price is scheduled to throw another simulated game Wednesday. … Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy threw out the first pitch.